Here begins the Testing part of the Betta Testing Journal!
2/6/14 Everyone was doing great so today we added 7 Black Neon Tetras. There color at the store was not as nice as the ones I had seen last month, but they told me they were stressed from being transported to the store and would be fine when I got them home. We acclimated them slowly over about an hours time and then left the lights off until the next morning.
I also started fertilizing my plants with Flourish.
When my tank was so cloudy after the weekend I ordered Purigen online, after reading many great reviews. By the time it arrived two days later everything was clear. I plan to replace my carbon insert with the Purigen in a few days, when the neons are adjusted.
Well, hindsight is 20/20, but I should have waited to get the Black Neons until they looked good at the store. By the next morning two of them were dead and so was one of the oto's. Of the remaining 5, 3 were swimming together and two were off toward the bottom by themselves. UGH!
Water chemistry was fine.
I cleaned the filter sponge with de-clorinated water. Wow, it was filthy, but the water in the tank is completely clear and water parameters are good.
The Black Neon situation is the same. All are pale. Everyone else is fine and Sammy seems to be out and about and less fearful now.
Another Black Neon died, now we have 3 swimming together, one by itself. Plus, surprise, surprise... all 4 have Ich! The other fish are not visibly affected.
I started raising the temp in the tank from 78 to 82.
So, I took the frozen, dead neons back to Petsmart and exchanged them for Ich Attack. I chose this particular product because it's safe for planted tanks and doesn't stain decorations or silicone joints. I will update as to how it works.
I tossed my carbon filter, and did a 5 gallon water change. I started dosing Ich Attack and increased the tank temp to 86, gradually over the next 12 hours. I checked on the fish frequently and didn't note any respiratory distress. My filter does a pretty good job moving the surface water, so I think oxygenation will be ok.